What is Auditory Integration Training (AIT) – for Hearing, Autism, ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia and other special needs

What is Auditory Integration Training?

Auditory Integration Training (AIT) is a powerful educational music programme aimed at helping children and adults succeed in social interaction and learning ability. It is often used with people who have ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, hearing sensitivities, autism, developmental delays, poor concentration, speech and language problems and a variety of other special needs.

Hearing anomalies can affect many aspects of normal everyday life, especially behaviour, sensitivity to noises in the home, social interaction, speech and language development and learning. Many professionals and parents who seek to remediate speech or language problems as well as learning delays in their patients implement AIT.

The beneficial effects of music are well known. Our programme can be personalised for each person.

Modulated and filtered sound is played through high quality headphones. The programme exercises and educates the listener through the auditory system. We aim to promote normal hearing, and educational and social well being.

Overview of Auditory Integration Training (AIT)

Pioneer Dr. Alfred Tomatis (1920–2001), an internationally known otolaryngologist and inventor, adapted electronically modified music by Mozart to target diverse disorders such as auditory processing problems, dyslexia, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, autism, as well as sensory integration and motor-skill difficulties. His successor, Dr. Guy Berard, also an accomplished Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist, developed the current educational approach. Berard believed that behavioural and cognitive problems often arose when an individual perceived sounds in a “differential” manner. This, he said, happens when individuals perceive certain frequencies far more acutely than other frequencies. Sounds thus appear to that person in a “distorted” manner. This often leads to difficulties in comprehension and behaviour. Berard’s objective was to reduce “distorted” hearing and hypersensitivity of specific frequencies, so that after Auditory Integration Training (AIT), ideally all frequencies could be perceived equally well. The individual would than be able to perceive environmental sounds, including speech, in a normal fashion.

Today, children and adults with learning difficulties, attention deficit disorders, dyslexia, autism, and pervasive development delay have benefited from Auditory integration Training (AIT). An estimated 20% of the population suffer from distortions in hearing or sensitivity to certain sounds. This can contribute to inappropriate or anti-social behaviour, irritability, lethargy, impulsivity, restlessness, high-tension levels, as well as problems with language and reading. Improvements reported after receiving Auditory Integration Training (AIT) include more appropriate affect, expression and interaction; better articulation and auditory comprehension; and an overall increase in academic and social skills.

Who are potential candidates for Auditory Training?

Those who have sensitivity or distortions in the auditory system are candidates for Auditory Integration Training (AIT). Signs may include sound sensitivity, tuning out behaviour and auditory processing difficulties. They may exhibit the following behaviours:

  • Puts hands over ears or runs from sounds
  • Cries in response to loud sounds
  • Tunes out auditory input – acts as though deaf, daydreams, attention drifts, or inability to stay focused
  • Avoids noisy, crowded group situations
  • Has auditory comprehension problems, is better at visual learning, fails to follow spoken directions
  • Has a history of ear infections
  • Does not pay attention to verbal instructions
  • Is easily distracted by background noises or drifts from paying attention
  • Has difficulty with phonics
  • Learns poorly through the auditory channel
  • Has a diagnosed language or speech difficulties
  • Displays slow response time to verbal stimuli
  • Covers ears to avoid sounds
  • Frequently gives odd or inappropriate responses in conversation
  • Needs physical prompts to follow verbal commands.
  • Responds to only part of a verbal command,
  • Is easily distracted by random noises,
  • Has slow response time,
  • Has speech and language delay or disorder
  • Inconsistent educational performance
  • Tantrums easily
  • Hears sounds such as aeroplanes, etc. before anyone else, and often runs away from them
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Hums or makes noises
  • Has difficulty organising the day
  • Is fatigued by end of the day
  • Needs constant activity or visual stimuli
  • Has difficulty finding the exact words to express themselves
  • Is non verbal

Auditory transduction

What changes may result from Auditory Integration Training (AIT)?

Reported changes in client’s behaviour following Auditory Integration Training (AIT) have included:

  • increased attention to auditory input,
  • improved social behaviour,
  • increased interest in communication,
  • better eye contact,
  • improved articulation,
  • improved auditory comprehension
  • overall improvement in academic skills.
  • Reduction of sensitivity to sound impulsivity, aggressive behaviour, echolalia, distractibility and temper tantrums.

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Clinical Studies for Auditory Integration Training
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